Game Time – That Dragon, Cancer

That Dragon, Cancer 5/5 Stars

That Dragon, Cancer is an art game from indie developer Numinous Games. Players walk through the true story of the Green family as they come to terms with their son’s cancer diagnosis. The gameplay consists of exploration of the Green’s experience, including recordings from the family.

One of the game’s greatest strengths is how powerfully it relays emotion. While some of the game takes place in literal settings, such as hospital rooms, other parts recreate the emotional experience through more abstract metaphors, such as drowning in the ocean after hearing the diagnosis.

The scene where the doctors give the diagnosis stands out. You can switch perspectives and see the scene as the parents or the doctors and hear their thoughts, hopes, and fears. The sheer tragedy of the moment, and the genuine emotion and heartbreak brought me to tears.

One of the most intriguing aspects of That Dragon, Cancer is that the Green family is Christian, and the game portrays their spiritual journey through doubt as their prayers for healing are met with silence. The game provides powerful insights into grace and faith, even when miracles don’t happen.

That Dragon, Cancer is one of the greatest examples of a video game as a work of art. From the visually minimalist and starkly beautiful design, to the genuine emotions and sincere portrayal of faith through pain, it stands as a must-play experience.

Chris Clark | Portland | Northern New England